Protect California's Endangered Pacific Pocket Mouse!

Protect California's Endangered Pacific Pocket Mouse!

This alert is no longer active, but here for reference. Animals still need your help.

The survival of the endangered Pacific pocket mouse, the world's tiniest hibernating mammal, is in jeopardy. Plans to construct two new massive facilities in Southern California will threaten one of the few remaining populations of the species. Please urge Dana Point City Council and The Strand OC Hotels to protect the endangered Pacific pocket mouse and its habitat from destruction!

For almost twenty years, the Pacific pocket mouse was believed to be extinct until a small population was located in 1993. The rare species is endemic to the California coastline, and is only found between Los Angeles County and the Mexico-U.S. border. Wild Pacific pocket mice are only known to exist in four locations in the state. The Pacific pocket mouse has been fully protected by the Endangered Species Act since 1994; however, crazily, its habitats are not.

Farms, road construction, and urban sprawl driven by human population growth encroach upon the species' extremely limited range, including the population found in Dana Point, California. Now, The Strand Hotel at Headlands and The Strand Residence, a complex of 1,500 square foot villas, is planned for development next to a key conservation area. The construction, as well as the impact of tourism, will threaten the already struggling population of Pacific pocket mice.

The new hotel and villas will undoubtedly attract more people to the area from all over the world. With more people, comes more pollution, trash, and vehicle traffic. While some travelers and residents may visit the conservation area, there is also a greater risk of people not staying on designated trails. People may potentially damage the mice's burrows, which are crucial to protecting the species from predators and cold temperatures. Although the Pacific pocket mouse can stay active throughout the winter with sufficient food supplies, they may hibernate through the difficult months if food is scarce. Habitat destruction leaves them with fewer places to survive the winter if their burrows and habitat are destroyed by humans or vehicles.

In 1997, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its goal to down-list the mouse from endangered to threatened by 2023. If the construction of the two establishments continues in the species' fragile habitat, maintaining a stable population, let alone achieving the goal of changing their status, is extremely unlikely.

The Dana Point Headlands has played a key role in preserving the habitat of the mouse, where less than thirty mice remain. With less than 200 in the wild, every effort to maintain a healthy ecosystem must be made.

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